For the first time in my life, I am getting better. I have never been ill. It is a new and fascinating experience. For days, all I wanted to do was sleep and pray, not even wanting to eat and drink. I was drained, peaceful, knowing all in the parish was in good hands (“You are really blessed with the good people of your parish”, I have been told often) and that I could spend all my waking time with God. It’s been wonderful.
I have been in your homes and with all of you whose homes I do not yet know. God has blessed me with a good memory so, whilst I rested, I could go around the parish, remembering happy visits and being with you, praying for you, and “seeing you” in church and including you in my prayer. The housebound and unwell I was able to phone, to reassure them about receiving Holy Communion, and it was good to be given their reassurances.
And then there was the loathing. I was surprised to discover how much I loathed certain people and enjoyed the feeling. I was reminded of a lovely lady, years ago, who told me how much she enjoyed a good hate. I laughed with surprise and she laughed, too. “Yes,” she said, “every now and then I have a good hate and enjoy it. It relaxes me. I’m not going to do anything about it but it does me good to let my feelings go and I feel better after.”
Now I understand better. So I enjoyed my loathing and it became part of my prayer.
I am grateful to be getting better, trying to do no more than I sensibly should, building up strength. God has blessed me all my life with health and fitness. I grew up on Welsh rugby, English cricket, Welsh fresh air and sea breezes (walestouristboard.com) and have always been well. These past two weeks have been new to me. I probably caught something on the plane or at the airports on our return home from the pilgrimage to Padua (we were delayed five hours at Venice and three more, waiting for our rearranged coach, at Gatwick). Thank you for your prayers.
God bless us all with spiritual health.
Your grateful patient,